Clerks' Questions

What is the job of the Clerk in all of this?

Clerks are the backbone of the judicial system. They have more contact with lawyers and litigants than the judges. Therefore, the Clerks will be the on-the-spot contact for lawyers and the public when they have questions about the Parenting Plan.

The Clerk’s office should attach a checklist to each case file involving divorce proceedings with minor children. This checklist will outline the documents to be filed under the Parenting Plan law. The Clerk should also provide copies of the forms and any forms required by local rules to lawyers and the public. The Clerk’s office should also provide copies of brochures or other literature from Parenting Education Seminar providers.

What forms should be given to the parents?

Generally, the parents receive copies of any local rules related to the Parenting Plan, an open letter from the judges, and a list of Parenting Education Seminar providers. Also, they can receive copies of a blank Temporary Parenting Plan and a blank Permanent Parenting Plan.

When should I give the forms to the parents?

The plaintiff should get the material when the complaint is filed and the defendant should get the material when served with process or the answer is filed.

What other information do I need to have available for the parents?

You may want to have brochures from the providers of children’s divorce seminars to give to the parents along with the Parenting Education Seminars.

If mediation is ordered in the case, what other duties do I have?

You need to have information available about the mediators who have been listed to do family mediation in your judicial district. The Administrative Office of the Courts keeps a current list of mediators on this website. Also, the mediator is required to file reports on the case with the court. It will be your duty to file those reports in the files.